- This superb pressing boasts Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – remarkably quiet vinyl too
- Forget whatever Heavy Vinyl imposter is in print – this vintage Verve stereo pressing has the kind of High-Rez Tubey-Magical Midrange that will bring Astrud’s soft samba music to life in your very own listening room
- “… Windy nevertheless proves one of Astrud Gilberto’s most consistent and sublime efforts, artfully straddling the division between Brazilian bossa nova and American sunshine pop.”
This ’60s LP has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.
Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Astrud Gilberto singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now 55 years old), I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we’ve played can serve as a guide.
What The Best Sides Of Windy Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1967
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We’re Listening For On Astrud Gilberto’s Albums
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer — Val Valentin in this case — would have put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
Chup, Chup, I Got Away
Never My Love
On My Mind
The Bare Necessities
Sing Me A Rainbow
In My Life
Crickets Sing For Anamaria
Where Are They Now?
While assembled from seemingly disparate sessions arranged by Eumir Deodato, Don Sebesky, and Pat Williams, Windy nevertheless proves one of Astrud Gilberto’s most consistent and sublime efforts, artfully straddling the division between Brazilian bossa nova and American sunshine pop. Credit the aforementioned arrangers for much of the LP’s appeal — from a percolating rendition of the Association’s title cut to a neo-classical reinvention of the Beatles’ “In My Life,” the songs possess a lithe, shimmering beauty that perfectly complements Gilberto’s feathery vocals.